Monday, December 31, 2012

Easy Appetizer

This so easy and perfect for New Year's Eve

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pozole Verde

Ingredients (8 adult size portions): Pork tenderloin, 1 – 1 1/4 lb. White hominy, 3 cans, well rinsed and drained Salsa verde, 1 16-oz jar or 2 cups Onion, 1 large or 2 small, diced Garlic, 5 cloves, chopped Chicken broth, 1 quart Filtered water, 2 cups Mexican oregano, 2 tbsp. (could also use regular) Ground cumin, 2 tbsp. Nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. Sea salt, 2 tsp. Fresh ground black pepper, 1 1/2 tsp. Garnishments: Radishes, 1 bunch, thinly sliced Cilantro, 1 bunch, coarsely chopped Limes, 2, cut into wedges Green cabbage, 1/2 head, diced
Preparations and Instructions (Hands on, 10 minutes. Hands off, 8 – 10 hours): 1. Dice 1 large or 2 small onions. Finely chop 5 cloves of garlic. 2. Rinse and drain 3 cans of white hominy. 3. Place all ingredients into a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Cover with lid. 4. Turn slow cooker on lowest setting (not warm). 5. Allow the flavors to mingle and the pork to braise while you go about your day. Getting it all on the table (5 – 10 minutes): 1. Just before serving, chop about half a head of green cabbage and one bunch of cilantro (leaves and tender stems only). Thinly slice one bunch of radishes, and cut two limes into wedges. Arrange nicely on a serving platter. 2. Using tongs, transfer pork loin from slow cooker to cutting board. Use two forks (it’s really that tender) to shred pork. Return to slow cooker. Stir pozole to evenly distribute meat. 3. Ladle soup into hot bowls and pass the garnishments, instructing each guest to top their pozole with whatever accompaniments look good to them (I highly recommend using them all). 4. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your (nearly) effortless dinner party! Notes: While not traditional, I like to add a dollop of sour cream to my bowl of pozole. It just adds another level of complexity to this simple stew. While I have not tried this, I believe that vegetarians could omit the pork and substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth. You would need to add a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or butter (I would use butter) to help properly balance the medley of flavors. Hominy is a member of the corn family, so it is naturally gluten-free (double check the ingredients on the salsa verde). This dish contains no nuts or nut ingredients. Salsa verde: Salsa verde is a green salsa made with simple ingredients such as tomatillos, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime. I have enjoyed many mild brands that are made using only whole, pronounceable ingredients (many grocers make it in-house). However, those food manufacturers are sneaky. Please double check the ingredient list and source an alternative brand is you see the following chemically laden terms: modified food starch, high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate, or hydrogenated oils. Also, notice whether the jar is labeled “mild”, “medium”, or “hot”. As the pozole simmers, the heat will intensify. Be sure to source a mild variety if serving to children or guests with tender palates. I might substitute chicken for the pork also

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Meat Loaf With Bacon

Serves 8 Hands-On Time: 21m Total Time: 2hr 00m Ingredients • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 onion, chopped • 1 large celery stalk, chopped • 2 garlic cloves, minced • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped with seeds • 2 teaspoons kosher salt • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg • 2 eggs • 1/2 cup milk • 1/2 cup tomato sauce or ketchup • 1 cup dry bread crumbs • 2 pounds meat-loaf mix (1 pound lean ground beef, 1/2 pound ground pork, 1/2 pound ground veal or lamb) • 4 strips thick-sliced bacon
Directions 1. Heat oven to 350° F. In a medium skillet, over medium heat, heat the oil with the onion, celery, garlic, and jalapeño and cook until the vegetables are tender but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add the salt, cumin, and nutmeg. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then blend in the milk, tomato sauce, and bread crumbs. Add the meat and cooked vegetables and stir or work with your hands to combine. Pat into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Cut the bacon strips in half and lay over the loaf, tucking the ends in. 2. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the meat loaf registers 150° F. Remove from oven and pour off the fat. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Italian Egg Rolls

1/2 c. onion, chopped 1/2 c. green pepper, chopped 2 t. oil 1 lb. ground sweet or hot Italian pork sausage 2 10-oz. pkgs. frozen spinach, thawed and drained 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese 3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese 1/2 t. garlic powder 14-oz. pkg. egg roll wrappers olive oil for deep frying Garnish: pizza sauce, warmed
In a skillet over medium heat, sauté onion and green pepper in oil. Remove to a medium bowl and set aside. Brown sausage in skillet; drain and combine with onion mixture. Add spinach, cheeses and garlic powder; mix well. Top each egg roll wrapper with 3 tablespoons of mixture; roll up, following directions on egg roll package. Heat 3 to 4 inches oil in a deep fryer. Add egg rolls a few at a time, frying until golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm with pizza sauce for dipping. Makes 8. Enjoy this recipe from 101 Easy Entertaining Recipes. Submitted by: Carolyn Scilanbro from Hampton, VA

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Feta Dip with Cucumber and Pita Chips

Servings: Makes about 1 1/2 cups Ingredients • 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese , plain or with Mediterranean herbs • 1/2 cup whole milk • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts • 3 to 4 sprigs oregano leaves , stripped • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper • 2 bags store-bought pita chips • 1 roasted red pepper • Handful of Kalamata olives • 24 slices seedless cucumber , sliced thinly on the bias
Directions Combine the first five ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth. Serve with store-bought pita chips and sliced cucumber garnished with chopped roasted red pepper and Kalamata olives. Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mini Shrimp Rolls

Ingredients • Kosher salt • 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled, deveined • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise • 1 small celery stalk, peeled, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons) • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish • Freshly ground black pepper • 24 mini soft dinner rolls (each about 1 1/2 x 1 1/2-inch; such as Martin's potato rolls or King's Hawaiian) • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted • 1/2 cup celery leaves or crushed potato chips
Preparation • Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; season lightly with salt. When water is at a gentle simmer, add shrimp. Poach until just opaque in the center, 2–4 minutes. Drain; transfer shrimp to a medium bowl of ice water to cool. Drain; wipe out bowl. • Whisk mayonnaise, celery, chives, oil, lemon juice, and horseradish in a medium bowl to blend; season to taste with salt and pepper. Chop shrimp into small pieces (about 1/3-inch); add to bowl with mayonnaise mixture. Stir to coat. DO AHEAD Shrimp salad can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. • Preheat oven to 375°. Using a small serrated knife, make a 1/2-inch-deep cut across the top of each dinner roll and gently pry open roll with your fingers to create a mini New England–style hot dog bun. Lightly brush inside of rolls with butter; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast until light golden, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly. • Divide shrimp mixture among rolls, pressing into cut across top; garnish with celery leaves or crushed potato chips. RECIPE BY The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Holiday Peppermint Bark

INGREDIENTS: 1 (12 ounce) package NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Premier White Morsels 24 hard peppermint candies
DIRECTIONS: 1. LINE baking sheet with waxed paper. 2. MICROWAVE morsels in medium, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70 percent) power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth. 3. PLACE peppermint candies in heavy-duty plastic bag. Crush candies using rolling pin or other heavy object. While holding strainer over melted morsels, pour crushed candy into strainer. Shake to release all small candy pieces; reserve larger candy pieces. Stir morsel-peppermint mixture. 4. SPREAD mixture to desired thickness on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved candy pieces; press in lightly. Let stand for about 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Red Velvet Waffles with Cream Cheese Icing Drizzle

Ingredients • 1 box of red velvet cake mix • Nonstick cooking spray • For the Cream Cheese Icing Drizzle: • 4 ounces cream cheese, one small block, softened • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla • Pinch of salt • 1/4 cup milk • For the Red Berry Salad: • 2 cups strawberries, sliced • 1 cup red raspberries • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds • 1 tablespoon sugar Yields: 8 waffles
Preparation Preheat waffle maker to medium-high heat. Prepare cake mix to package directions. Once waffle iron is hot, spray with cooking spray. Pour 2 cups (about half) of the cake batter into the waffle iron. Cook 5 minutes; carefully remove from the waffle maker. For the cream cheese drizzle, cream together cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt into a bowl. Slowly whisk in milk. Set aside. Mix together all ingredients for the red berry salad in a small bowl. Top each waffle with a heaping spoonful of red berry salad and a drizzle of cream cheese

Sunday, December 23, 2012

No Bake Caramel Apple Cheesecakes

Ingredients For The Crust: o 3/4 cup ground pecans o 1 Tbsp. sugar o pinch of salt o 2 Tbsp. butter, melted For The Cheesecake Filling: o 3/4 cup sugar o 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened o 1 tsp. ground cinnamon o pinch of nutmeg o 2/3 cup lightly-strained applesauce (**see note below**) o 2 cups whipped cream (you can use homemade whipped cream or frozen whipped cream topping) o Toppings: o additional whipped cream (about 2-3 cups) o caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought)
Method To Make The Crust: Stir together all crust ingredients in a bowl until evenly combined. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the mixture into each serving dish, and press in the bottom until even to make the crust. To Make The Cheesecake Filling: Add the sugar, cream cheese, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a food processor and pulse until blended. Add the applesauce and pulse until blended, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula once in between to be sure that everything is well-mixed. Use the rubber spatula to fold in the whipped cream until combined. Spoon or pipe the filling mixture in even portions into your baking dishes. Top with additional whipped cream, and drizzle with caramel sauce. 1) I recommend lightly straining the applesauce to remove some of the extra water. You can do this in a colander, or with a cheesecloth. Just lightly strain it to remove some of the obvious extra juice -- don't totally squeeze it dry! 2) The mini glass dishes for this are from Pier One, although they are now widely available at many stores including Target, TJ Maxx, World Market and beyond.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Butterfinger Brownie Cookies

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies Prep Time: 20 min Cook Time: 12 min Ingredients: 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips 1 cup granulated white sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon All Purpose Gold Medal® Flour 1/8 teaspoon baking soda 2 cups chopped Butterfinger candy bars (7.8 ounces)- I used two 6-packs of .65-ounce bars found in grocery store candy aisle
Directions: 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper. 2. Put butter and chocolate chips in a glass bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, then microwave an additional 15 to 20 seconds if needed until the mixture is melted and smooth. (Alternately, you can heat the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a metal pan set over a pot of simmering water). 3. Stir sugar, salt and vanilla extract into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring until they are completely incorporated. 4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda, then add the flour mixture to the chocolate batter. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Give it all you've got for a good 2 to 3 minutes of mixing. The batter should be smooth and glossy and thick. If the batter is cooled off, stir in the butterfingers. 5. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter onto your prepared cookie sheets- leaving about 2-inches between cookies as they'll need space to grow. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. They'll spread out and puff up. You want to take them out when they've crackled but they're still soft and gooey. They'll sink and become more firm as they cool. Wait a few minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Eat them up within 2 to 3 days (stored in a covered container).

Friday, December 21, 2012

Easy Cheesy Soup with Smoked Paprika

Ingredients • 4 tablespoons butter • 1 onion, finely chopped • 2 carrots, finely diced • 2 ribs celery with leafy tops, finely chopped • 1 red chili pepper, seeded and very finely chopped • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped • Salt and pepper • 1 rounded tablespoon smoked sweet paprika • 1 bay leaf • 3 rounded tablespoons flour • 3 cups whole milk • 3 cups chicken stock • 3 cups shredded Gouda cheese • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped • Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish • Warm toasted crusty bread, for dipping Yields: 4-6
Preparation In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium-heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, chili pepper and garlic; season with salt, pepper, paprika and bay. Partially cover pan and soften veggies, 7-8 minutes. Stir in flour, cook a minute or so then whisk in milk and stock. Bring to a bubble and thicken to a thin-sauce consistency. Stir in cheese and simmer partially covered 15-20 minutes. Stir in parsley, adjust seasonings and serve garnished with scallions and crusty bread alongside for dipping.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gorilla Bread

Ingredients: 1/2 cup granulated sugar 3 teaspoons cinnamon 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 1 cup packed brown sugar 1 8-ounce package cream cheese 2 12-ounce cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count) 1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside. Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the Bundt pan. Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts. Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Southwestern Cornbread Stuffing

INGREDIENTS: 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 2 cups chopped onion 2 medium celery stalks, sliced 1 (14.5 ounce) can Chicken Broth 1 (15.25 ounce) can Whole Kernel Corn, drained 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies, drained 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves 6 cups dry cornbread stuffing crumbs 1/2 cup chopped pecans, preferably toasted
DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion and celery until tender, stirring frequently. 2. Stir in the broth, corn, chilies, parsley, poultry seasoning and oregano; mix well. Add the cornbread crumbs and nuts; gently toss until just moistened. 3. Spoon into a 13-inch by 9-inch baking pan, cover and bake 30 minutes or until heated through

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Homemade Mushroom Soup

Serves 2 Ingredients: 300g or 2 cups fresh mushrooms - cleaned and chopped finely 1 tbsp olive oil 3 cloves garlic - chopped 1 tbsp butter 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 - 2 bay leaf 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock 1 tbsp flour dissolved in 1 tbsp water Salt to taste 1/2 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup milk Dash of nutmeg Freshly ground black pepper to taste Fresh parsley or thyme for garnish
Method: 1. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan. Add butter and lightly sauté garlic on medium heat. 2. Add in mushrooms, thyme, bay leaf and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the moisture from the mushrooms disappears. 3. Add in chicken broth. Stir occasionally until broth boils, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 4 Add diluted flour in, and stir constantly (while simmering) until the mixture thickens. Season with salt and nutmeg. Taste and adjust seasoning. 5. Finally, add milk and heavy cream, and bring to a simmer. Turn heat off. 6. Serve hot in your soup bowl. Add freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with fresh parsley or thyme if you have them on hand. And warm up this holiday season! Notes: - This recipe serves us as a good basic comfort soup, so you can always modify easily according to your preference. Feel free to increase the amount of mushrooms for a richer mushroom flavor. You can also swirl in a dash of sherry or truffle oil or wine or some caramelized sweet onions to create another depth to the soup. - You can thicken the soup by adding in another tablespoon of flour or cut down on the broth, for use in pasta or your Christmas casserole dishes. by Season with Spice

Monday, December 17, 2012

Shrimp Enchiladas Verde

serves 4-6 Ingredients: 1 lb frozen cooked shrimp (cocktail shrimp are great for this!), defrosted 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp chili powder 28 oz green enchilada sauce 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 cup sour cream (reduced fat is fine) 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 1 4-oz can diced fire roasted green chilies 8 oz shredded “Mexican Blend” cheese (or Monterey Jack) 12-14 corn tortillas verde salsa for serving fresh cilantro for serving
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roughly chop your cooked shrimp and place in a large bowl with 1/4 cup enchilada sauce, cumin, chili powder, salt, cayenne pepper, diced green chilies and sour cream. Mix well until everything is well combined. Pour about 2/3 cup enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Soften your corn tortillas by placing each in a hot skillet for about 10-20 seconds each side. Then, place about 1/4 cup shrimp filling into each hot tortilla along with a sprinkle of cheese. Roll up tortilla and place seam-side down in the pan. Repeat until you have used up all your shrimp filling. (You might have a few extra enchiladas that don’t fit—place them in a small pan). Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the pan and sprinkle cheese on top. Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with extra salsa, hot sauce and fresh cilantro. Time: 45 minutes

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Apple Cake

Yield: 8-10 servings Ingredients: 3-4 very ripe Red Delicious apples, peeled and cored 1 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour 2 tsp baking powder 2 large eggs, plus one yolk ¾ cup granulated sugar zest of one orange 1 tsp pure vanilla extract ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 tbsp golden brown sugar powdered sugar, for dusting fresh mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)
Method: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch round springform pan. In a food processor, pulse apples until pureed but still chunky (the apples will oxidize, turning brown, but it's perfectly fine.). You should have about 3 cups of apple puree. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add eggs, sugar, and beat on medium until incorporated. Add orange zest and vanilla and beat on low speed, increasing to medium, then high, until the eggs are foamy and light-yellow in color. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the olive oil in a steady stream. Add pureed apples and mix until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and mix again on low speed until all ingredients are evenly incorporated into the batter. Do not over-mix. Transfer batter to the prepared springform pan. Sprinkle the top with brown sugar for a crunchy crust. Bake for 1 hour, then cool in the pan for 10 minutes. To serve, remove the sides of the pan and place on a platter. Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with a mint sprig. MANGIA Recipe by Fabio Viviani

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mini Raspberry Mousse Parfaits Recipe

Ingredients • 1-3/4 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed • 3 tablespoons sugar • 2 teaspoons cornstarch • 2 teaspoons orange juice • 1-1/3 cups whipped topping • 12 cubes angel food cake (1/2-inch cubes)
Directions • Press raspberries through a strainer and discard seeds and pulp. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in raspberry juice. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Refrigerate until chilled. • Divide raspberry mixture in half. Stir orange juice into one portion; set aside. Place remaining mixture in a small bowl; fold in whipped topping. • Divide angel food cake among four small cocktail glasses or dessert dishes. Layer each with a scant tablespoon of reserved raspberry-orange mixture and 1/3 cup creamy mixture. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 4 servings

Friday, December 14, 2012

Gingerbread Cake

• Prep Time:15 minutes, • Cook Time: 60 minutes, • Total Time: 1 hours, 15 minutes, Ingredients • 3 3/4 cup all purpose flour • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon • 3/4 teaspoons ground cloves • 1 1/2 cups unsulfured dark molasses • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar • 1 1/4 cups canola, vegetable or peanut oil • 1 1/2 cups water • 1 tablespoon baking soda • 2/3 cup packed, peeled and minced ginger • 3 large eggs, beaten
Preparation 1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 10-inch bundt pan. 2. 2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon and cloves. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the molasses, sugar and oil. 3. 3. In a small pot, bring the water to a boil. Remove pot from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Whisk the water into the molasses mixture and then whisk in the ginger. 4. 4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the molasses mixture, and stir just until the flour is absorbed. Whisk in the beaten eggs. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. 5. 5. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in the pan before removing.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Creamy Tomato Soup

Ingredients • 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil • 1 onion, finely chopped • 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped • 1 carrot, finely diced • Salt and pepper • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped • 1 large fresh bay leaf • 3 tablespoons tomato paste • 1 quart chicken stock • 1 28- to 32-ounce can hand-crushed San Marzano tomatoes • A few leaves basil, torn • 2 tablespoons butter • 2 tablespoons flour • 1 1/2 cups whole milk • • For the Egg “Noodles”: • 8 eggs • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese • Salt and pepper • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped • 1 tablespoon butter Yields: 4
Preparation For the soup, heat EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, in a large soup pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, carrot, salt, pepper, thyme, bay and cook partially covered to soften 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste and stir 2 minutes; add stock, tomatoes and basil. Simmer partially covered for 30 minutes, remove and discard bay leaf. Purée soup in a blender and return to pot. To make the béchamel sauce, melt butter in a saucepot over medium heat, whisk in flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in milk, season with salt and pepper, and let thicken to coat a spoon. Stir béchamel into soup to combine. For the “noodles,” beat eggs with cheese, salt, pepper and parsley. Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat and add half of the egg mixture. Swirl into a very thin, large layer, cover with loose foil and cook to completely set, 3-4 minutes. Repeat with remaining egg mixture. Remove pan from heat and roll up eggs into 2 logs. Slice each log into 1/4-inch “noodles”. Serve soup in shallow bowls topped with a few “egg noodles”. Rachael Ray

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Baked Potato Chips & Herb-and-Cheese Dip

Potato Chips Serves 8 Ingredients • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds large baking potatoes, scrubbed • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil • 1 large garlic clove, peeled • Salt and freshly ground pepper Directions Preheat oven to 350°. Slice potatoes lengthwise very thin (about 1/16 inch). Brush 2 baking sheets with 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil each. Rub garlic over surface, pressing hard to extract as much garlic juice as possible. Place baking sheets in oven to warm for 5 minutes. Place potato slices side by side on hot baking sheets. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake 7 to 10 minutes, rotate pans (for even browning), and bake another 10 to 15 minutes. Flip potatoes and bake 5 minutes longer or until golden. Remove and cool on paper towels. Repeat with remaining potato slices. Eat warm or store in airtight container
Herb-and-Cheese Dip Serves 4 to 8 (2 cups) Ingredients • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely minced • 3⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese • 2 cups sour cream or plain yogurt • 1/4 cup milk • 1/2 tsp. salt • 1/4 tsp. pepper Directions In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cashew Avocado Chicken Salad

INGREDIENTS: 4 cooked, boneless chicken breast halves, shredded 1/4 cup ranch salad dressing, or to taste 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill 1 cup cashews 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced salt and pepper to taste 12 slices bacon 6 slices Swiss cheese 12 slices bread, toasted
DIRECTIONS: 1. In a large bowl, mix the cooked chicken, dressing, dill, cashews, and avocado. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes. 2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown; drain. 3. Spread even amounts of the chicken mixture on 6 slices of toasted bread. Top each with 2 slices bacon and 1 slice Swiss cheese. Top with remaining bread slices to make sandwiches.

Monday, December 10, 2012


1 15 oz. can of pumpkin 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice 1 small package of instant vanilla pudding. 1 8 oz container of Cool Whip
Mix together the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and instant vanilla pudding. Fold in Cool Whip till thoroughly combined. Serve with Anna's Ginger Thins. They are a perfect little cookie in a cute flower shape, perfect for dipping. You can find them in your local grocery store or in bulk at Costco.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cathedral Window Cookies

1 (4oz.) bar German chocolate squares (found in the baking section) 1 cube butter 1 egg 1 cup powdered sugar 1 (10 oz.) colored marshmallows coconut
Melt chocolate and butter slowly until melted. Whisk egg and add stirring constantly into the chocolate mixture (you don't want the chocolate mixture to hot as to cook the cook the egg). Add in the powdered sugar and marshmallows. Pour on a a board and mold into 2 logs. Roll in coconut to cover, then roll in saran wrap, then in tin foil. Leave at room temperature for 1/2 an hour and then place in freezer until ready to use. Cut in slices and serve by Mary Nelson Briggs

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Shrimp Francesca

INGREDIENTS: 1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 (8 ounce) can (8 to 10 count) artichoke hearts in water, drained 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 1 lemon, juiced 1/2 cup butter 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic 1 tablespoon finely shredded imported Romano cheese
DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. 2. Arrange the shrimp in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Gently squeeze any excess liquid from the artichoke hearts, break the hearts into quarters, and arrange in spaces between the shrimp. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and parsley over the shrimp and artichoke hearts; sprinkle lemon juice over the crumbs. 3. Melt butter with garlic in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; drizzle the butter mixture over the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the top with Romano cheese. 4. Bake in the preheated oven until the crumbs and cheese brown lightly and the shrimp turn opaque and orange-pink in color, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Corn Flake Christmas Wreath

 6 cups corn flakes  2 10 oz. bags marshmallows  1 stick melted butter  1 bag (1/2 cup or so) spicy red hots or M&M’s  1 strawberry (red) fruit roll up
Directions: Melt butter in microwave glass bowl. Add marshmallows and cook 2-3 minutes stirring every 30 seconds. Once melted, add green food coloring. Dump corn flakes into the melted butter/marshmallow mixture with red hots and stir vigorously. Spread into a greased circular bundt pan. Let it settle in the freezer or until molded together. Place more red hots on top. Carve a bow from a fruit roll up. Serve or enjoy it all yourself!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Macaroni and Cheese Spring Rolls

Ingredients • For the Macaroni and Cheese: • 16 ounces pipette or small elbow pasta, cooked al dente • 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half or milk • 4 ounces Jack cheese, shredded • 8 ounces extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (adjust to taste) • 1 teaspoon kosher salt • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper • • 1 12-ounce package 8-inch square frozen spring roll wrappers (25 pieces), defrosted • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water • Wondra flour, for sprinkling • Canola oil, for frying • Sriracha hot pepper sauce, to taste Yields: 25 springrolls
Preparation For the mac, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and started to bubble, whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in the milk until no lumps remain. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook milk mixture, whisking constantly, until it thickens and bubbles, 5-7 minutes. Remove 1/3 of sauce and save to make dipping sauce. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in the cheese by the handful, stirring each addition until blended. Stir in the mustard, salt and pepper. Return the sauce to low heat and mix in the pasta until well-coated. Spread the mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet and let cool. Place a spring roll wrapper on a flat work surface. Brush the edges with egg mixture. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop about 2 tablespoons of the mac and cheese onto the bottom third of the wrapper and in the middle of the wrapper. Fold the two edges until they meet in the middle. Roll tight and pull as you roll. Place on a baking sheet dusted with Wondra flour to keep from sticking. (The spring rolls can be frozen at this point. Partially defrost before frying. 10-15 minutes.) Frying: Deep fry spring rolls in three inches of oil (deep enough to cover the spring roll) at 350ºF for 4-5 minutes until the shell is golden brown. Baking: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place rack on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick spray. Bake spring rolls on the rack for 5-7 minutes, turning once. For the dipping sauce, mix the reserved béchamel with sriracha to taste. Serve alongside the spring rolls. Ryan Scott

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Crème de Menthe Cheesecake Cookies

48 Servings Prep: 15 min. Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling Ingredients • 1 tube (16-1/2 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened • 1 egg • 1-1/3 cups Andes crème de menthe baking chips • Green candy coating disks and sprinkles, optional
Directions • Let cookie dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes to soften. • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add egg and cookie • dough; beat until combined. Add baking chips and mix well. Drop by • tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. • • Bake at 350° for 9-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for • 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool • completely. • • If decoration is desired, melt candy coating in a microwave. Transfer • melted coating to a pastry or plastic bag; cut a small hole in the • corner. Pipe designs onto cookies and decorate with sprinkles. • Yield: 4 dozen. • To Make Ahead: Bake and cool cookies as directed. Freeze for up to 1 month. Several hours before serving, proceed with finishing cookies as directed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Rice Krispie Snowman

Ingredients 450g box of rice krispies 1 bag of white marshmallows 2 tbl butter white melting chocolate candy - soft black licorice, milk/dark chocolate buttons, red sour strap, mini chocolate chips, raspberries (or other)
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot till melted. Add one bag of marshmallows and stir over a med heat until melted. Add 3/4 of a 450g box of cereal. Once all the cereal is coated, pull off the heat and spread across a sheet of baking paper to cool down. You may need to add a bit more cereal depending on how wet your mix is. You want all the cereal to be coated but not too sticky that it won't hold shape. As it cools down, it will become easier to work with. Makes approximately 2

Mushroom Lasagna

Ingredients o kosher salt o 12 dried lasagna noodles o For the white sauce: o 4 cups whole milk o 2 bay leaves o dash freshly grated nutmeg o 4 tablespoons unsalted butter o 1/4 cup all-purpose flour o freshly ground black pepper o For the mushrooms: o 2 tablespoons unsalted butter o 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling o 6 cups sliced mushrooms o 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves o 1 cup white wine o For the lasagna: o 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach, washed, dried and stems removed o 3 cups freshly grated Parmesan
Instructions 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water seasoned with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside. 2. In a glass measure, add the milk, bay leaves and nutmeg. Microwave for several minutes until warmed through – don’t boil (or you can do this in a saucepan, too). Discard the bay leaves. 3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add in the flour; whisk until smooth. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add in the hot milk, whisking until blended. Bring to a boil; cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 4. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and toss to coat all pieces with the butter and olive oil. Cook until the mushrooms start to turn golden. Add in the thyme and wine; cook until the liquid has completely evaporated (this could take up to 10 minutes or so, depending on how much liquid the mushrooms express. But don’t worry – it will boil down). Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the white sauce and check for seasoning. 5. Assemble the lasagna: spread a little of the sauce in the bottom of an 8 x 12 x-2 inch baking dish (I use my trusty Pyrex glass one). Place a layer of noodles on top (I “shingle” or overlap 4 noodles) followed by 1/3 of the sauce, 1 cup of the spinach and topped with 1 cup of cheese. Repeat another layer. Place the last 4 noodles on top; spread the remaining sauce over the noodles and sprinkle over the remaining 1 cup of cheese. Drizzle the top with some olive oil and bake, uncovered, until the lasagna is golden brown and bubbling, about 40 minutes. Let the lasagna rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Notes from the Picture-Perfect kitchen: Planning: This elegant lasagna is a perfect dish for entertaining. You can assemble the dish in the morning and refrigerate until about an hour before you want to serve it. You’ll need to tack on a few more minutes in the oven if it’s right out of the fridge. Product Purity: I use baby bella mushrooms. Remember, always cook with a wine that you would drink and buy good Parmesan that you grate yourself. Presentation: This is a definite “family-style” serving casserole. However, if you’re feeling lofty and ambitious, you can make individual gratins for a very special presentation. You’ll need small gratin dishes and a little patience to cut the noodles to size, but if you really want to amp up the wow factor, this will do it in spades Author: Cheryl Beverage Barnes

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cheerios Christmas Trees

Prep Time:45 min Total Time:1 hr 45 min Servings:18 trees Ingredients • 6 cups Honey Nut Cheerios® cereal • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine • 4 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows • Green food color • Red cinnamon candies or sliced gumdrops
Directions 1.Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. 2.Pour the cereal into a 4-quart bowl. Set the bowl aside. 3.Place the butter and marshmallows in a 3-quart saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Remove the saucepan from the heat. 4.Stir in the food color until the mixture is evenly colored. Pour the marshmallow mixture over the cereal and stir until the cereal is evenly coated. 5.Lightly spray your hands with cooking spray. For each tree, shape about 1/4 cup of the cereal mixture into a Christmas tree shape on the cookie sheet. 6.Press the candies into the trees to decorate. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store the trees in a loosely covered container. Tips & Techniques • Special Touch Personalize the trees using Betty Crocker® decorator icing (from 4.25-oz tube) and use as place cards. Use the icing to add a garland

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Stuffed Artichoke Hearts

INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup butter 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 3 (14 ounce) cans artichoke bottoms, drained 1 teaspoon lemon pepper 1 teaspoon garlic salt 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 1 tablespoon sour cream 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. 2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat; remove from heat and set aside. Place the Parmesan cheese in a shallow bowl, and set aside. 3. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each artichoke bottom so it will stand, and gently press your thumb into the center of each to form a depression for the filling. Sprinkle the artichoke bottoms with lemon pepper and garlic salt. 4. Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, and chives in a bowl, and mix well. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the filling into each artichoke bottom. 5. Dip each stuffed artichoke bottom into the melted butter, roll in Parmesan cheese, and place into the prepared baking dish. Bake about 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until the tops of the artichokes are golden brown.